What Makes ‘Out of the Darkness’ Different?

What makes a book different is a topic that’s constantly discussed by writers. How to make your work stand out so that it is interesting enough for an agent or publisher to send you that mythological piece of paper known as a contract is the subject of countless blog articles and social media discussions. It’s even come up on the forums and in Elite: Dangerous related videos and podcasts—how will the writers of the fiction differentiate their stories from each others? It’s only after reaching this point in the first draft that I’ve got enough of a feel for where my story is headed that I can attempt an answer to that question.

David Braben: ‘Hi TJ, This All Looks Great to Me.’

It’s taken four days, multiple emails, much head scratching, lots of hacking and slashing, and the ejecting into the darkness of the first plot, but finally I have a go from His Royal Brabaness for Out of the Darkness (Mk II). Thargoids still feature, but due to game constraints a hefty wedge of tech and the main story premise had to be ejected. Replacing them with something engaging wasn’t easy, but the new plot now sits (by necessity) much more deeply in its Elite setting and there’s lots of potential for a gripping story. I feel sorry for Frontier. With the change in emphasis I won’t be pushing so many unusual tech ideas, but there will likely be a storm of emails and possible forum postings clarifying the minutiae of galactic workings. They’re really busy, so I’m sure we writers are not always their favourite people. You can imagine the conversation over coffee: Michael Brookes: ‘So, … Continue reading